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Genies cuckoo for ‘C.R.A.Z.Y.’

Coming-of-age tale beats out 'Water,' 'Familia'

Academy voters went nuts for “C.R.A.Z.Y.,” awarding the French-Canadian box office hit 10 statuettes at the 26th annual Genie Awards, held Monday in Toronto.

A coming-of-age tale set in the 1960s and ’70s, “C.R.A.Z.Y.” beat out Deepa Mehta’s “Water” and Louise Archembault’s “Familia” to nab best picture. Pic also took the nod for art direction, costume design, editing, sound and sound editing. Michel Cote took the statuette for his leading turn, Danielle Proulx won for supporting actress, Jean-Marc Vallee for director and Vallee and Francois Boulay for screenplay.

Pic, which was Canada’s submission in the foreign-language Oscar race, also took the Golden Reel award for top Canuck B.O. grosser, taking in more than C$6 million ($5.2 million) at the B.O. last year, most of it in the province of Quebec.

“C.R.A.Z.Y.” was the most nommed pic, with 12 mentions.

The other winner of the evening was “Water,” the third in a trilogy that opened last year’s Toronto Film Festival. Pic, which received nine noms, took three awards: cinematography, Seema Biswas for lead actress and Mychael Danna for original score.

One of the higher-profile films last year, “Where the Truth Lies,” received five noms but just one statuette: Atom Egoyan for adapted screenplay.

Velcrow Ripper’s “ScaredSacred” took the award for doc and Louise Archambault took the Claude Jutra Award for her first film, “Familia.”

Although David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence” was named best Canadian film by the Toronto Film Critics Assn., pic was not eligible for the Genie Awards because it is a U.S.-financed pic.

This is the second year that broadcaster Chum Television has aired the awards, which usually receive tepid ratings. This year, in an attempt to perk up the kudocast’s ratings, Chum aired the ceremony as a fast-paced hourlong special with clips from the winning films.

Few Canucks outside French Canada get an opportunity to see the nominated films. English Canadian fare takes less than 2% of the B.O., while in French Canada the proportion of domestic film B.O. take is closer to 25%.

The Genies are awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, which includes more than 4,000 film and TV industry personnel across Canada.